Do Your Landing Page Designs Convert Customers?
It’s great to have you back to learn more about how to create landing pages that’ll convert customers! Last time we talked about the unseen foundations, and now we’ll walk you through the front-end of your landing page: the design.
It’s a common stance to think that designers and marketers are working to achieve opposing goals. However, those goals are overlapping, in the area that we call, thanks to Unbounce, ‘Conversion Centered Design’.
Your landing page needs to be beautiful, or your prospects will leave. It needs to attract attention through its visual appeal. At the same time, it also needs to function in a way that enables your marketing tools to take full effect.
What If We Don’t Have Designer On Staff?
Startups rarely have the luxury of having a designer able to deliver the kind of landing page designs that you need. At best, your designer is focused on product user experience, which won’t translate well into marketing functionality.
Luckily, you have templates available to you in a great variety for an acceptable price — but how do you decide which one will work for you?
In this article, and with its accompanying pdf, we’ll give you a cheat-sheet of quick decision-points against which you can test your favorite designs.
As we explained in our previous article, landing pages are not meant to further your marketing funnel: they’re meant to close it.
Instead of explaining you have to summarize, which means short, clear text surrounded by visual triggers – and you’ll need a design that can host those.
Tip: use the same, or visually similar images you’ve used before. They’ll act as triggers and establish a non-textual sense of familiarity that acts as the backdrop for your text.
Clarity is when you can convey the most information using the least effort. Click To Tweet Build on your keywords and established triggers from the previous steps of your campaign.
Tip: save your visitors time, and say everything they need for a decision above the fold. Click To Tweet All consequent parts of the page can have additional information, but everything a prospect needs to know for a ‘yes’ should be visible at first sight.
Once they have all the information, they can either get more from below the fold or make a quick decision using the CTA in front of them.
Tip: if you’re using a parallax template, make sure each section reveals additional information and has a CTA on it.
Clean and clear communication will improve your conversions. Remember: you need to ask for and expect a decision, put your prospects in the driving chair, instead of treating them as a passive audience.
During your campaign, making your audience pause and think can work wonders, but on your landing page, it’s a distraction and a bad strategy. Active language is a powerful tool and you’ll see the improvement in your metrics if you show the benefits instead of explaining them, and assume that they’ll say yes, instead of asking them.
Tip: on your landing page, write everything as if saying ‘yes’ is implied and already done.
Visual and textual contrast (opposing colors, surprising statements) are useful when you need to ensure that they follow a path that’s most beneficial to you. But keep your tone of voice consistent throughout your entire funnel: it’s what they’ve gotten used to and what they expect, and deviating from that can have unwanted consequences.
Tip: subverting expectations (to create a surprise effect) only works if used sparingly. Click To Tweet Its purpose is to direct attention to a specific spot – such as textually to emphasize a keyword, or visually to call attention to a button – but the effect will wear off and become confusing quickly.
We cannot stress this enough: the contemplating is over. Your landing page has the single purpose of converting prospects into customers, and if it doesn’t, it won’t matter how beautiful or well laid-out it is.
Tip: don’t be afraid to ask for information such as email addresses. If you make your CTAs obvious, it signals honesty and builds trust. Click To Tweet
Navigation, even the one that your website is using, is to be avoided: your prospects will have to say yes to your offer, or drop out abandoning the investment they already made.
Tip: you can install controlled loopbacks that lead back into a campaign, but as long as you can avoid it, don’t.
Think of the difference between these two sentences:
- “Peter always cleans his room: he is a good boy.”
- “Peter is a good boy because he always cleans his room.”
Your marketing funnel is the first sentence; your landing page is the second. Click To Tweet Lead with the premise, and leave the reasoning below the fold, should it be needed.
Tip: think of the above-the-fold area as the only mandatory element of your page. If your visitors only have time for one thing, it should be a complete overview of a positive action they can take.
Evaluating a design isn’t easy, but we made a handy tool that’ll help you a great deal.
We created a cheat-sheet you can use to make quick qualifying decisions on each point we detailed above. If a design doesn’t pass the test, strike it out and move on to the next one.94% of first visitor impressions are design related. Click To Tweet
A quick rundown on what to look for in landing page design:
- uses visual cues instead of textual ones;
- offers a straight, clear path from start to finish, and
- has no navigation;
- has a front-and-center call-to-action;
- allows you to use quick and active language;
- uses contrast to direct and guide attention within your existing design framework
Eventually, you’ll find a handful of designs that will pass all these qualifiers, and offer a visual appeal that fits your brand and product. Then you’ll have a shortlist to customize and test, and save time discarding those that won’t work properly.
Sounds too much of a hassle? We hear you.
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